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Nomadic Housing: Somalia and Beyond: Background information when reading The Last Nomad

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The Last Nomad

Coming of Age in the Somali Desert

by Shugri Said Salh

The Last Nomad by Shugri Said Salh X
The Last Nomad by Shugri Said Salh
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2021, 304 pages
    Jul 19, 2022, 304 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis
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About this Book

Nomadic Housing: Somalia and Beyond

This article relates to The Last Nomad

Somali woman building an aqal The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that in 2020 there were more than 82 million people displaced from their homes due to human rights issues such as violence and persecution worldwide. And, for as long as humans have existed, people have lived as nomads in various parts of the world, including Somalia, as detailed in Shugri Said Salh's memoir The Last Nomad. There are evident and important differences between cultures with traditions of living in nomadic harmony with the seasons (as in Somalia), people being displaced into forced migration or homelessness, and those who are privileged enough to voluntarily choose to live without a fixed home address. However, any of these situations may involve the use of various types of nomadic housing.

Salh lived with her nomadic grandmother in a shelter called an aqal. This is a tent-like hut built of branches and sticks bound together. The structure is covered with materials such as woven fiber mats, blankets and—in modern times&...

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